In a very rare appearance on campus, Vice-Admiral Steven ‘Poly-Uni’ Spier, Gold Commandant of Kingston University, exclusively revealed to reporters from The Hogsmill newspaper (the University’s new replacement for The River) exciting details of the recommendations of a KU rebranding exercise. The exercise was recently conducted on behalf of the University by outside consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Speaking through the letter-box of the front-door of Holmewood House, as the two reporters sheltered from the rain in the front porch, Admiral Spier confirmed that an image of a psittacine (otherwise known as an African grey parrot), would be the brand new symbol of Kingston University. In future, it will appear on all University letterheads, on websites and adorn all marketing material. New students in September will also be issued with free pens and notepads decorated with the African grey.
Commandant Spier said: ‘We recently invested a huge sum in commissioning a report from PwC and I am proud to announce that, following their recommendations and some comprehensive market survey data, the African grey parrot will – from this point onwards – symbolise our new journey towards a Future Organisational Model (FOM). The FOM will be a Polytechnic-University structural model, with Polyversity status. The African grey sums up the forward-thinking values I want to see embodied in a contemporary, modern, post-Brexit, post-Covid, post-University, ‘Poly Uni’, and I will be asking staff (those who still have jobs, of course) to write down these values on yellow Post-it notes and display them all around my Kingdom, er, sorry, our Estate’. He added: ‘Other institutions have animals and wildlife to symbolise their values, such as owls, ferrets and unicorns. The grey parrot, with its undoubted multiplicity of skills in linguistic repetition, captures the types of vocational and other training we wish to instil in our students as they enter the wider world of employment’.
The VC also exclusively revealed to The Hogsmill, in a muffled voice as the rain hammered down (and not helped by the grey blanket he had over his head), that his new vision includes a plan to ‘modernise’ Kingston’s graduation ceremonies. From mid-2021 onwards, the VC will have a real-life African grey parrot on his shoulder when he attends each of the ceremonies. A new and exciting part of this ceremony, which the Admiral hopes will become a regular tradition at Kingston, will be the free distribution of peanuts and other birdseed to the families of graduating students. Towards the conclusion of the proceedings, parents will be invited to throw the nuts and seeds back on to the stage, to induce the VC’s parrot to squawk loudly in appreciation. A specially composed musical canzonetta will accompany this moment.
Later the same day, Dave ‘the knife’ Mackintosh also spoke to The Hogsmill about the exciting new rebranding of University operations. Temporarily revived for the day through electric shock therapy, and wheeled out in his new motorised bath-chair (created for him by two bored engineering students at Roehampton Vale), the VC’s faithful bagman revealed: ‘Our new parrot has already made appearances at SLT meetings and delighted everyone who attended. In fact, it outshone many of the senior managers present with its ability to contribute to policy-making and to repeat the VC’s endless blandishments in a huge number of the same ways’.
Dr. Mackintosh added that Kingston’s African grey is still at ‘training’ stage, however, and it prefers at the moment to stick to ‘Give us a kiss’, ‘Hello Sailor’ and ‘Put the kettle on’, but the VC is apparently hopeful that, in the near future, the parrot will be promoted to become a full Dean in charge of one of KU’s Faculties. Mackintosh pointed to a recent email from the VC to his senior staff, where Spier stated: ‘This is more than a rebrand. This is more than a rebrand. It is a major step on the road to full Polyversity operational success. Operational success. We want graduates who will be fully poly-able. Give us a kiss’.
When The Hogsmill asked Mackintosh where all the money will come from for the latest rebrand, the oldest man in the University said: ‘Don’t worry. It will come from the savings we intend to make from getting rid of 55 or so staff in the next few months. Bunch of shirkers anyway’.